When you’re flipping a house it’s hard to prepare for the unknown, but what you can prepare for are the rules and regulations of your community’s homeowners association (HOA). Your HOA’s ordinances are intended to help the community maintain a neat and consistent appearance. But let’s face it: they can present issues that impact your home design and the overall finished product. Educating yourself about the HOA rules in your community before you start working on your flip can help you avoid delays and frustration once work is in progress.

If there are aspects of your flip that aren’t in step with HOA rules the board will usually send a written notice and provide deadlines for you to come within compliance. If you don’t address the violations in a timely manner, the HOA can levy fines.

Below are two more things that are likely to be regulated by an HOA.

Construction Debris

You’re renovating a house, so you’ll likely need a dumpster for your trash. Find out if there are HOA rules for having a dumpster on your property, for instance if there’s a limit on how many days it can sit onsite.

Your jurisdiction may have certain days when it performs curbside “bulky trash pickup” or “big trash pickup” for items that qualify. So check that out.

Exterior Storage

Because your HOA wants the community to maintain a neat and relatively uniform appearance there may be certain restrictions regarding what your potential homeowner can store on the outside of their home. For instance, items like canoes, bikes, and lawn equipmentif kept outdoors—may have to be stored out of sight. If you plan to build or purchase outside storage for items like these it’s best to check the HOA rules first to make sure they will be within compliance.

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